What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Moong Dal With Basmati Rice?

Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images

Moong dal and basmati rice are a classic combination in Indian culinary tradition, as well as in the Middle East. The flat, yellow beans of moong dal are frequently boiled in soups, stews or curries. The long-grain basmati rice cooks to a dry and fluffy texture that makes it ideal for pairing with sauces such as a moong dal curry. Together, these low-fat, high-fiber foods make a complete protein.

Nutrition of Moong Dal

Moong dal beans are dried, mature mung beans that have been skinned. Naturally low in fat and high in fiber, a 1-cup serving of cooked moong dal has less than 1 gram of total fat, over 14 grams of protein and 15.4 grams of dietary fiber. A 1-cup serving contains 212 calories.

Basmati Rice Nutrition

Basmati rice can be either white or brown, with brown basmati having more fiber and flavor than the white variety. Like moong dal, basmati is naturally low in fat and high in fiber, although it contains less protein. A 1-cup serving of cooked, brown long-grain rice has 216 calories, a little over 5 grams of protein, 1.76 grams of fat and 3.5 grams of dietary fiber. As basmati is rarely eaten alone, the nutritional content of the final dish depends largely on the other ingredients used.

Together, a Complete Protein

Protein sources are divided into complete and incomplete proteins, based on how many of the essential amino acids they provide. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and some cannot be made by your body, so they are considered “essential” amino acids. Legumes and rice are incomplete proteins, as they contain low amounts and only some of the essential amino acids. But rice contains low amounts of amino acids that are found in high quantities in beans, and vice versa. Together, they form a complete protein, so eating moong dal and basmati together will provide you with a naturally low-fat, high-fiber complete protein.

High in Dietary Fiber

Both basmati and moong dal are high in dietary fiber, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, as well as treat or prevent digestive complications, such as irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis and constipation. A diet high in dietary fiber will also help prevent overeating because fiber makes you feel fuller faster. A 1-cup serving each of basmati and moong dal will provide 18.9 grams of dietary fiber. The American Dietetic Association recommends between 20 and 35 grams of fiber per day.